Thursday, September 29, 2011

Truth Is...

I have one major "Truth Is" this week:

I smoked.
For a week.
Like 8 or 9 years ago.

I was waitressing at Winger's.  And boy did I love being a waitress.  Something about being paid to refill Cokes and bring out platters of wings appeals to me.  All I had to do was flash my billion dollar smile and the money poured in.  Those were the simplet...easier days.  It was one of my all-time absolute favorite jobs.
I loved everything about it EXCEPT when people took smoke breaks.  They would go up to the manager in their stinky smoke clothes and their yellow smoke teeth and beg for a "smoke break."  In the middle of a dinner rush.  Da nerve.  They'd go out back, sit on the curb, and smoke for 5 minutes and then chat for another 5 and I (the healthy NON-smoker) would have to cover their tables, run their food, and refill their drinks.  Ugh.  Annoying.  More annoying since they got the tip for my "hard" work.  (Hard is in quotes... because who are we kidding... there's nothing that strenuous about bringing people food.  I'm just out for number one.)
So.  Not.  Fair.
So one night I asked for a smoke break.
My manager told me no.
I told him I was really jonesing for a cig.
(Yeah... I didn't really know the jargon.  Aaaaand I still don't.)
He told me I didn't smoke.
I started in on how it isn't fair that some people got breaks and others didn't and somewhere in the Employee Handbook there had to be something for the little gal and "Breaks for Everyone!" yadda yadda yadda.
"Only smokers get breaks, Patty."
"Well then... that's me."
I marched right out the back door.
Of course, I had to borrow a cigarette, have someone light it for me and then tell me how to smoke it.
Apparently, I still did it wrong.
The cigarette was gross.
Hot.  Ashy.  Stinky. 
I felt like my teeth were going to turn to dust and fall out of my gums and my lungs were going to dry up instantly.
I finished about half and couldn't go any further.
I reeked when I went back inside.
I kept up the charade for a whole week.
Constantly bumming cigarettes, having people light them, and trying to smoke them.
I became proud of my crusade.
Breaks for Everyone!
One night my manager came out and sat next to me on the curb.
I was choking down a cigarette.
"You can stop smoking now,"  he said.
"Me?" *cough* "Why would I stop?" long drag *coughcoughcough* "I love these things."
"Everyone can have breaks.  Smokers and nonsmokers."
I smiled, stomped out a nearly full cigarette, and went back to work.

For a long time I was so proud of myself.  I smoked to make a stand and it made a difference!  I should be on the cover of TIME magazine.  I was totally justified.
But really....
I didn't make a stand at all.  I caved.  I smoked to get breaks.  Making a stand would have been NOT smoking and finding a way to get breaks.  Sure breaks came later- but that was probably because the guests could hear me hacking out back,  Or maybe the smokers complained I was crunching their style (or wasting their cigarettes).  Either way I didn't make a stand.  I cowered.  I keeled.  I could have just helped people out.
I would have done it differently.  I should have down it differently.
Truth is... I'm a little ashamed I did all that silliness.
Truth is... Everyone should get breaks if you're a waitress, a mechanic, an accountant, a banker, a mom, a dad... everyone needs them.
Truth is... I hope my mom doesn't get mad at me when she reads this!

P.S.  Would you vote for my blog post over here?  Maybe I'll win.


Julia said...

This is a really sad post, Patty. I am glad to hear you would have done things differently. In other news--I TOTALLY VOTED FOR YOU!

Poulsen Family said...

blog= preacher confession :)

Though you may be ashamed for smoking, I look up to you for not letting pride get in the way of confessing. It's good to read about other's REAL life.

DoublClik said...

My jaw did drop a little, but you obviously now trust us with some dirt NOW than before! What a hoot

SkippyMom said...

I don't know why this is a sad post or why you should be ashamed it makes sense, just thank goodness you didn't become addicted to it. It isn't fair and you took a stand. An unhealthy one, but it didn't do damage.

True story - my Dad was in the Air Force. He had just joined, it was the early 50's. Same thing. Some men got smoke breaks but those that didn't smoke had to continue on. My father took up smoking because he wanted his break too.

The difference? My father became addicted. He did of lung and brain cancer in 2003. I miss him everyday.

I am so glad you only pretended to smoke for a week. Whew.

Jeannie said...

What's funny about this is that my daughter confessed today that she hasn't had a smoke in 4 days which eventually had me mentioning that way back in the 70's when I smoked, and was a waitress, I felt bad for the non-smokers because if someone was needed out front while on break, it was the non-smokers who had to help because the smokers hadn't finished their cigarette - I didn't see it as fair. Strange coincidence huh?

Kid Id said...

Unfortunately this is also how our military service members get hooked on tobacco - for many in the field it's the only way they get a break. Glad you didn't get hooked!

Julianna said...

Yeah! Thanks for linking!

And yeah! That it was only for one week!

I too, would love to get the breaks the smokers get at work. INstead, I just stop for my sugar fix while out on the road and call it even. :)

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

Great blog. Loved reading it. And yes, everyone needs a break.

Sandra said...

haha! Yeah, I always wonder if and what my mom thinks when she reads my blog. I smoked for short amount of time too, and I too did it to be with co-workers who got to go out for cigarettes. How easily influenced are we? I know you did it for a break, but I did it to be with the people who were getting the breaks! Gah!

Cinderella, the A-Train and Our Little Caboose said...

I'll be honest, I was a little shocked! But on the other had I love that you tell the truth! I got a little laugh out of it, but I am glad you decided kick the habit! Totally voted for you